We all know that menopause is an inevitable aspect of being a woman, and like PMS it can affect every woman differently. While there are currently certain treatments available for women going through the menopause, they don’t come without some nasty side effects.
For years people have been turning to marijuana for its therapeutic benefits for a range of conditions. So can this all-natural herb be of some benefit when it comes to menopause? In this article, we are going to take a look at how menopause can affect women, and how marijuana could be a potential solution.
What is Menopause?
Menopause will affect every woman at some point, although it is most common in women between 45 and 50, it can occur much earlier in some people. The symptoms most commonly attributed to menopause can include some or all of the following:
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flushes
- Night Sweats
- Mood swings
- Loss of breast fullness
- Weight gain
- Slowed Metabolism
- Sleep problems
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
While some of these side effects may not seem severe on the surface, they can alter in severity and be incredibly debilitating for so many women.
Menopause signifies the end of fertility in a woman; in effect, it is the loss of estragon along with other hormones in the body that causes so many unpleasant side effects in women as they grow older. When Estragon and progesterone levels decrease, it has a knock-on effect on many of the above areas, which leads to these horrible symptoms.
When we also consider the length of time that these symptoms can be going on for it is no wonder that so many underestimate just how difficult the process can be. Menopause shows itself in three stages:
- Perimenopause, which can start several years before menopause and signifies a decrease in estrogen production.
- Menopause, which begins after one year of no menstrual bleeding.
- Postmenopause, which can continue throughout the years following menopause during which the most severe symptoms begin to ease.
Current Treatments for Menopause (not cannabis based)
The most common treatment for Menopause is ERT, which stands for estragon replacement therapy, or HRT, which is hormone replacement therapy. These are usually the first treatments offered to women as they work to replace lost hormones, which balances out those unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, like most pharmaceuticals on the market, ERT has many side effects:
- Breast lumps or discharge
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach bloating or cramps
- Liver or gallbladder problems
- Prolonged vaginal bleeding
This is just to name a few of the potential risks associated with hormone replacement therapies, and unfortunately for so many women, it can leave them stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Marijuana as a Potential Aid
So can cannabis be of service when it comes to menopause? We already know that the controversial plant has a list of medicinal benefits that knock many traditional drugs off the top spot. Over the past few decades, marijuana has become a go-to treatment for conditions such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Chron’s disease
The properties found in marijuana, in particular, CBD, which is the non-psychoactive compound found within the plant, have been recognized as incredibly powerful in the right doses. Here are just some of CBD’s properties:
So when we look at just how far marijuana has come in helping hundreds of thousands of patients across America, it seems the next natural step would be to look at the plant for its use in natural conditions such as PMS and Menopause.
While there have been many studies done into cannabis for PMS, research into the plant for menopause is still in its infancy. That being said, there have been some promising studies done on the subject, so let’s take a look at some of the facts around it.
What Science Says on Marijuana for Menopause
It is clear to see when we look at the most common symptoms of menopause that cannabis is a candidate for treatment. It has been used for years now to treat sickness, pain, hormones and so many other issues that seem to be present in those women going through the change.
In fact, marijuana has been used for menopausal symptoms since as long ago as 1920, when the herb was identified as a strong painkiller. Since then, there have been dozens of studies done, which suggests cannabis could be a much safer treatment for women.
According to the Impact Network Organisation, endocannabinoids work hand in hand with estrogen levels, and what do we know boosts endocannabinoids in the body? That’s right – CBD.
We know from studies that CBD is a potent anti-anxiety treatment, due to its ability to control neurotransmitter release. This is an exciting prospect for women suffering from the difficult mood swings that come with menopause, as many women develop depression and anxiety as a result.
As endocannabinoids work to regulate our bodily functions such as our core temperature, it is now understood that the use of marijuana are capable of relieving the common hot flushes that affect those going through menopause. Along with CBD, THC is also known to reduce body temperature, and while CBD counteracts the potency of THC’s psychoactive properties, it means that women won’t have to worry about getting “high.”
One of the most common long-term side effects of menopause is the weakening of the bones, which usually leads to osteoporosis. It is now understood that Estrogen plays a huge part in our bone growth, so when Estrogen levels decrease, it will often lead to bone deterioration – a situation that can can occur over time in women who suffer from menopause. This is where cannabis comes in to the rescue! A study published in 2009 confirmed that marijuana could reverse the bone loss!
Marijuana is also a great appetite stimulant as it comes in handy for those women who struggle to maintain weight during menopause. Ever heard of the Munchies? Well, marijuana is known for giving increasing appetite in it’s patients. For those women who gain weight as a result of their hormonal changes, marijuana’s ability to regulate the body’s blood sugar and metabolism has proven to be effective in keeping off weight.
Finally, cannabis is known to be an incredibly effective aphrodisiac with many people turning to the drug to enhance their sex lives. Not only does THC increase libido, but it also helps with lubrication which is a common problem with women suffering from menopausal symptoms.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana for Menopause
While cannabis may not be for everyone, there are some incredibly beneficial properties of the plant when it comes to hormonal changes such as menopause. It is extremely important to choose a strain that helps with your condition. Most of the time, a low THC strain could work better but it is a question of what works for you!